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Elmore’s Report From The MIDEM Conference (Part 1)

The Palais–the convention center in Cannes, France–is under construction, and many of us are spending valuable minutes wandering around, looking for our destination. Other than that, MIDEM works well, jammed with European, North and South American and Asian countries’ representatives, all frantically searching for new ways to monetize music.

 Several conflicting models define methods of separating consumers from their money, and they all seem to be based on metrics. Many of those new ideas seem to be built on the belief that music consumers are inherently goodhearted individuals who will support artists, which leads me to wonder where these thinkers were in the analog-to-digital years which sent major labels into so many tailspins. One telling map tracks illegal downloads around the world, with North America, Australia and parts of Europe being the worst offenders–and also the biggest consumers. It remains to be seen how the fairly recent belief that music is–or should be–free can be converted into voluntary donations. Even crowd funding projects like Kickstarter and ArtistShare offer consumer/investors a bonus in addition to the  music they support. Apart from any moral issues, my question remains: Why buy apples when you live in an orchard? Some 6,300 music professionals are trying to answer that question this week. As they say here in Cannes, Bonne chance!

– Suzanne Cadgene

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